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I am selling my house FSBO. I plan to list it at $165,900. Is $2,500 enough to offer a buyers agen

  • August 05 2009 - Missoula
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Answers (22)

Sorry to hear about the difficulty you are having.  A couple of questions that you might answer. 1. Where is your home for sale located?  2. How is the agent advertising your property?  3. What are the comps in the neighborhood selling for?  4. How many homes have sold in the same neighborhood?  5. Is the property priced right?  6. Would you consider taking it off the market for a while to do a little work on it and then put it back on the market with new pictures?  Remember some buyers think just because a property may be on the market for an extended period of time means there is something wrong with it.  Try taking it off the market, do a little work on the house, ie plant a few new flowers in the flower beds, paint the main rooms and do a little cleaning and possibly stage the home with some of your own furniture so it looks presentable.  If you do the work, it shouldn't cost you more than $100.  The home improvement stores are having lots of sales on fall flowers.  Take advantage.  Once all the work is done, list the house with the same or different agent who is willing to do the work for you.  I mean advertise it on MLS, craigslist, his/ her website, open houses, etc... But have faith.  Price the house right and it will sell.  The other thing to keep in mind is that historically speaking there are two trends: 1. people want to buy a house and move in before the holidays and 2. people don't want to move after school starts and head toward the holiday months.  So your window of opportunity is small.  If you don't have your house in escrow by November, I would recommend waiting until February.  The rational is that people start to think about buying a home because many get their taxes back and have money for a down payment.  I hope this helps you.  Good luck. 
  • October 11 2010
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I did try for sale by owner and I used 2.5% and I had very little activity...I signed on with a Realtor and had a little more activity but not much..really disappoint so the house is off the market.  We currently have another house listed with the same agent..between the FSBO and the Realtor listing the house had been on the market over a year.  We just had a baby and moved in together..we decided to keep one house for now and sell the other..it has been really tough have two mortgages and a new baby but I guess that is how life goes sometimes.
  • October 09 2010
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Wow, I'm sorry to hear about that deal Adrian... We're all human and I I'll be the first to say that I've had greedy tenancies occasionally myself. I think we'd be lying to ourselves to say any different. As the old saying goes... "Money talks..." I'll keep the rest clean. That being said, however, I think this economy and all the rest of the natural forces out there will govern things down a bit. As a whole, in the last 10 - 15 years we've been conditioned to react and act as we have with regards to demanding certain aspects of the real estate game for various reasons. I believe our commission structures fell into this conditioned equation. Unfortunately, I think a lot of that equation was filled necessarily with greed in one aspect or another because it had to be for our instinctive real estate agent survival. The scales will re-balance themselves, so to speak. Things will get better... :o)
  • October 08 2010
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Agreed on this is a good topic and yes the posting is old but sometimes you just have to have the converstaion for the conversation sake. 

Having said that $1200 is not altruistic.  I agree Paul and sounds like you do the right thing.  But you would be surprised just how many agents I talk to that the first thing they look at is the commission rate on a sale before anything else.  Pefect example is a seller's agent I am currently working with on a short sale.  Lender required the reduction of agent's commission to 2.5% which I didn't have a problem with but he absolutely refused and almost ruined the entire deal.  I had to talk some sense into him about how he should have his client's best interest at heart first and foremost, how long the property had been on the market, the few offers he had received and how long we had been waiting on the short sale approval.  And at the end of the day there would be no guarantee if he put the property on the market he would receive another offer let alone a higher one and the bank would agree to the customary 3%.  I am rambling on.  The point is not all agents do the right thing.  But I am glad to see there are some "ALTRUISTS" out there.  :o)
  • October 08 2010
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LOL @ Michael... Agreed! It's good conversation though!

Adrian, I totally understand where you're coming from, however, even if the brokerage took 50% (which mine definitely doesn't), I still just can't call $1200 "altruistic?" Maybe it's just me, but I would put a list of properties together and show them in the most efficient order just like I always do.   
  • October 07 2010
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Um yeah....this posting is August of 2009.

Pretty sure she's made up her mind by now.
  • October 06 2010
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Paul since you are a real estate agent, the question you should be asking is "would I show a house where the commission was $2500 knwoing my broker will receive a portion of that commission?"  Assuming you have the property listed on MLS, some agents may steer clients away from your home.  Of course I have sold properties for half the commission you are offering because my client's best interest was at heart but not all agents are going to be altruistic. 
  • October 06 2010
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Be realistic qtstargirl.  Please excuse me for getting directly to the point.
 
With so many homes for sale at discounted prices you want to not only keep your home a secret by keeping it off the MLS but you also want all the professional Realtors in your area to show your home and make about 33-50% less than they would with a listed home.

 Plus, like many FSBO"s you will probably be overpriced.

Hmmmmmmm, personally (and don't take this personal), I think you are making a BIG mistake. List your home, price it attractively and pay MORE of a commission than your competitors. Now that is a SOLID plan for selling your home.
  • October 06 2010
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Whatever you offer is going to be fine. You have to be comfortable with it. The biggest kicker for you is visibility. If your home is not visible you could be offering a million dollars to dump it and it won't move because nobody sees it. While I agree with others about price, area, etc, etc... If it's not visible it's not going to sell.

Concentrate on ways you can make your home visible. Websites, MLS Companies, Videos, Lots of Pictures to lots of newspapers and lots of magazines. There are free listing websites out there that you can upload your listing to. Anything you can do to make it visible is going to be the key. It will take a lot of your time to market the property effectively and if you find yourself spending to much time doing so with no good results then give it to a professional to represent you before you increase commissions to a buyers agent.
  • October 06 2010
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Usually, Zillow asks folks to keep the professional site hotlinks out of posts unless they directly help answer a poster's question in an effort to maximize information and reduce self promotion on the board. They have the policy posted here. You can always direct people to your profile page so people can learn more about your and your business. Zillow has a great video to help you make the most out of your profile here. Hope the links are useful.
  • September 24 2009
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There are two major reasons a property..house, land, waterfront, business don't sell. 1)Not marketed correctly or far reaching enough plus with frequency and
2) not priced right. You need the broker to help know the pulse of the market, what is competing with your place, what sold like it, and where you should be. He/she does not get paid until it sells, and networks, has a list of prospects and is where folks turn because he/she is professional, has a license he earned/cherished and this is what he does 24/7. List it with a reputable broker...he/she knows what they are doing and it will sell quicker, for more money and you won't get taken in by a sharp operator.
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  • September 24 2009
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For the record, I have sold houses that paid less than $2500.  Those of us who've been around a while or live in areas were housing is not very expensive often earn less per sale. Shame on those who wouldn't.
  • August 06 2009
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OMG Linda, she asked a simple, honest question and you try to work her. You try and wheel and deal like some desperate used car salesman.

Qtsgirl, don't ever carry back a loan.  It will leave any default filings and collections to you, and you will be fully responsible to your bank if you still have a loan that they are paying. Linda gives very bad advice.

Also, although it's typical for 3%, you can try the 2500 and see. If it increases your foot traffic enough, then that's good. If not, raise it. If an agent has a buyer that would like this house, then the agent will be happy to make the transaction. It really depends on how well your house is priced, and how well it shows. The easier it is for the agent, the better.

  • August 06 2009
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Not enough

3% is standard

2.5% will get some activity

3.5% will get more.

of course to get agents to even know you exist you need to be on MLS

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  • August 06 2009
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Will you also be offering OWC to sweeten the deal?
  • August 06 2009
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Who knows???? There may be someone crazy enough to do it!  Buyers are everywhere looking for exceptional values in this market! Will you pay the buyer to buy it from you?  Kind of like $2500 Cash for Clunckers but instead it's Cash For This Old House Deal?
  • August 06 2009
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This may sound harsh, but it is honest. No $2,500 is not enough of a commission to get your house shown by a buyer's agent. Most buyer's agents will not bother showing your house with that commission and will discourage their clients from dealing with you. 3% is the customary commission and you must use that as honey to get the buyer's agent to bring buyer's to you. You can offer less, but you have to expect that the agents will choose to show other houses if all things are equal since they have bills to pay.

This may seem unfair, but if a buyer has an agent they will expect to get paid for doing the deal. You can market directly to buyers who do not have an agent, but to get represented buyer's you need to offer a commission to their agents.
  • August 06 2009
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ItIt  totally depends on the market you are selling in. If there are very few homes like yours for sale then you might be able to offer $2500.00. Did you know most buyer's agents are splitting that with their broker? If you have lots of houses competing with yours, you should find out what the other sellers are offering for commission and mach or even BEAT it! There are a limited number of buyers out there right now and a buyers agent will have a qualified buyer.
  • August 06 2009
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1.5% ???  Normally, that may be what the "agent" gets, but the agent's broker also gets another 1.5%, unless the agent has arranged a different split with their broker.

3% is considered "customary" for both the buyer's side and the seller's side, for a total of 6%.  So, you get to keep your 3% for selling it yourself, except of course your advertisement and showings costs.  And if a buyer comes to you dirrect, you get to keep the other 3% as well (actually, you reduce the price, so that the buyer saves that).  But you really think you will have buyers coming if there is no incentive to "bring them"?

3% comes to $4977.   Many have suggested in "difficult selling times", it is best to offer 4% to the buyer agent ($6636) in order to get the agent to prioritize showing it, to those that would otherwise have skipped it.

It really just depends on your selling strategy, if you have one.  At the peak of the market in 2005-2006, properties pretty much sold themselves.  That is not the case in most areas presently.
  • August 06 2009
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Read this blog. It is very helpful.

Rockinblu's Blog

  • August 06 2009
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In our area, the buyer agent's company would normally earn about $4,700 and the seller's company would earn about $5,200 on a $165k sale.  Certainly any professional agent will put their clients best interest ahead of their commission, but $2,500 seems a little low to me - if you're interested in competing with listed homes.
  • August 06 2009
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I suggest calling to 4-5 agents in your area and asking how much they would like to get paid on a $165,900 sales price home. I think that will give you guidance if you are offering too low or too much.

All of them would try to get your listing, but remember that this is what we do for living. This is our full time job. Some of them would offer you a Free CMA, comparative market analysis; it could even be email to you.

Get your home sold!
  • August 05 2009
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